Monday, September 19, 2011

What I have learned after a year in ministry…

First of all, I’m not dead and I haven’t stopped blogging, it’s just that certain things take precedent in life sometimes and other things tend to fall by the wayside. This blog has been one of those things. Nevertheless, I am back!

As of the second week in July I have been preaching every Sunday for a year. What started out as a few months has become a year and looks like it will continue for a while. Light of Christ Church in Waynesburg, Ohio is where I have been serving and what a blessing it has been! It has been great to watch God work. Having this year under my built has caused me to reflect a bit on what I have learned. Here goes:

1) I have a lot to learn! The me from about 2 years ago would have told you that I was totally ready for a full time ministry position. No, I don’t think I was. I don’t know everything. I don’t know how the perfect church should run. I don’t deliver the perfect sermon. I am not the perfect pastor. But God is gracious and infinitely patient.

2) I need to prepare to be a pastor and not just prepare to deliver a sermon. Because of the busy nature of my life, I am often scrambling for time throughout the week to prepare my sermon and I unfortunately have often neglected preparing my heart to pastor. When I am not putting anything in or not allowing God to work anything into my spirit, than I don’t really have much to offer.

3) Make the main things, the main things.  How quickly can I let myself spend my time and efforts focusing on the smaller issues of the church and how I think it should be running rather than spending my time praying that the people will come to know Jesus better! I heard someone quote D.A. Carson recently and what Carson said was basically, “what you believe is not just what you say you believe, but what you emphasize and live is what you truly believe.”

4) I need to love my wife and prepare my heart for the awesome responsibility of being a father someday, should God bless me in that way. What an important thing the family is and should be to a pastor! The sad thing is how easily they can slip to the back burner, because pastors can assume that they are the ones who can take the neglect or at least lack of attention. Anna and I feel as close as we have ever felt to the very real possibility of having kids and I want to prayerfully consider that amazing privilege. I want my kids to see that their father loves Jesus, loves their mother, and loves them.

5) I can’t do everything! At least I can’t do everything well. I have had to learn this the very, very hard way. It is very hard for me to say no, but God is helping me in that. There is great wisdom in focusing on exactly what God has called you to. I think your life and your ministry are blessed by trying to do exactly that.

Peace and chicken grease!